When it comes to renting out your investment property, it’d be nice if it were as easy as chucking up a ‘For Lease’ sign and hoping for the best. Unfortunately, there’s a little more preparation involved in getting your property ready to rent.
Hutton & Hutton believe in making things as simple for our landlords as we can. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of things you need to do before renting your property out! Make sure you can tick off each of these items before welcoming your new tenants.
1. If it’s broke, fix it!
Does the roof leak a little during heavy storms? Maybe the fly screens have little holes in them? Do you have a drawer in the kitchen that you really need to wiggle just right to have it close properly?
These are all things you need to look at fixing before putting your property on the market to rent. If you’ve lived in the property for a while now, there may be things you overlook because you’re used to avoiding them or living around them. You might not notice the broken shelf in the master wardrobe because you don’t use it at all, but we can guarantee prospective tenants will notice.
Have an unbiased friend or family member walk through the house and point out things you might not have picked up on. That way you’ve covered all your bases and you can get your property back to tip-top shape!
2. Deep clean every room
When getting your property ready to rent, you need to do more than just dust, vacuum, and mop. If you’ve ever rented yourself, you’ll remember what it’s like to do a bond clean. You need to relive the past and do it again!
Make sure you clean those easy-to-forget areas of the house like ceiling fans, window tracks, and oven grills. If you’re sitting there thinking ‘Who’s got the time?!’, we hear you! You can always hire a professional who knows what they’re doing to take care of it for you.
3. Don’t forget the exteriors
First impressions are everything. Your prospective tenants will be paying as much attention to your property as prospective buyers. After all, they’re also making a financial investment to live in your house! So you need to make sure both the inside and the outside are looking schmick.
This doesn’t have to be too time consuming or stressful. If you live in an apartment, it’s quite easy! Give the windows a clean from the outside and pressure clean the balcony if you have one. If you’re feeling particularly bold, put some easy-to-maintain plants on the balcony in nice pots to give the space an instant homey feel.
If you’re getting a house ready to rent, there are a few easy things you can do to spruce up the exteriors. For starters, mow the lawn and make sure the garden beds are weeded and presentable. Pressure clean the driveway and, if required, do the exterior of the house. This can make the paint look good as new! If needed, take a quick look at the letterbox to make sure the street number is presented clearly and the inside is clear of cobwebs and debris.
If you need more ideas on how to create killer curb appeal, check out this article H & H wrote on making your property shine on the outside.
4. Can you add value at all?
The million dollar question; how much can I ask in rent? Well, that depends on a ton of factors (you can read more about that here), but you do have some direct influence over how much you can earn!
You can ask for more if your property has features for which tenants are willing to pay more. Everyday appliances are a fantastic example of this. Air conditioning, washing machines and dryers, and dishwashers are all appliances that fetch a bit more rent. If you can organise for your rental property to be kitted out to make tenant’s lives easier, you’ll soon see your investment repay itself over and over.
If you’re feeling adventurous, however, you can do small DIY renovation projects that will give your property a freshen up. In the kitchen, a coat of fresh paint on the cabinets and some new knobs will leave you feeling like you’re in a new house. In the bathroom, you can change all the faucets and taps to make the room feel sophisticated and chic for less than $300.
5. Get insured
Landlord insurance is crucial. Yes, it’s an initial outlay, but you’re really better to be safe than sorry. After all, are you a strong enough financial position to cover yourself for prolonged periods of vacancy? What if your tenants are in arrears? Or if upon exit you find there is malicious property damage?
It may seem expensive when you initially outlay the money, however, if and when the worst happens you will be thanking yourself for having the foresight. Not to mention, your bank account will be much, much happier.